Robust US fuel demand lifts crude oil futures

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Crude oil futures ended higher in the domestic market on Friday as investors and speculators booked fresh positions in the energy commodity after a report said that petroleum demand in the US, the world's biggest crude oil consumer surged to the highest level in four years.

Total US petroleum deliveries, a gauge of demand rose by 2.3 per cent to an average 19 million barrels per day in April 2014 from the same month a year ago.

Further, the first gain in new home sales in the US in three months signaled a rebound in the housing market in the world's biggest economy, lifting the demand outlook for the fuel. US new home sales rose 6.4 per cent to a 433,000 annualized rate in April 2014 over the previous month.

Deepening concerns over Ukraine amid deadly violence in the country by pro-Russian rebels raised fears of further tensions between Ukraine and Russia, the world's biggest energy exporter, triggering supply fears over the energy commodity.

Crude oil futures may rise today amid speculation of a rise in tensions in Ukraine after the country elected a new president, threatening crude supplies from Russia.

At the MCX, Crude Oil futures, for the June 2014 contract, closed at Rs 6,120 per barrel, up by 0.61 per cent, after opening at Rs 6,087, against a previous close of Rs 6,083. It touched an intra-day high of Rs 6,125.

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Story first published: Monday, May 26, 2014, 12:40 [IST]
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